Much have I spoken of the faded leaf; Long have I listened to the wailing wind, And watched it ploughing through the heavy clouds, For autumn charms my melancholy mind. When autumn comes, the poets sing a dirge: The year must perish; all the flowers are dead; The sheaves are gathered; and the mottled quail Runs in the stubble, but the lark has fled! Still, autumn ushers in the Christmas cheer, The holly-berries and the ivy-tree: They weave a chaplet for the Old Year’s bier, These waiting mourners do not sing for me! I find sweet peace in depths of autumn woods, Where grow the ragged ferns and roughened moss; The naked, silent trees have taught me this,— The loss of beauty is not always loss!
This poem appeared in Poems (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1895). It is in the public domain.